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Inspiration in Buttermere, climbing Haystacks

Updated: May 8, 2020

Day 4 of my Lake District trip

Homeward bound today, the weather forecast looked unpredictable. Deciding to take the longer pretty route I thought I’d wind my way through the Lakes on my way back to York.

The road took me past Loweswater again, then onto Crummock Water and Buttermere. Then the sun came out. With the water mill pond flat, it reflected the beautiful mountainside landscape and ever changing light. It’s time like this that I soooooo want to be on my bike. Driving on your own is torture when you can’t just stop and admire the view.

I’m forever indecisive and was torn between an easy walk around Buttermere or a more challenging one up to Haystacks.

Deciding to make the most of what turned out to be a mostly dry day in the Lakes, I settled on Haystacks. I say that, I set off, then about three times nearly turned back. Climbing a mountain is not something I’ve done on my own before, so it was a little out of my comfort zone. As my friend Helen will tell you I’m/we’re not known for our map reading skills. I’d got a paper map, Pathfinder walking book description, Garmin GPS with OS mapping and all the rest of the just in case supplies. I’ll be fine!

Well, I was kind of fine. I could tell I was very slightly off route. I seemed to be following what was probably a sheep trail but amongst all the rocks I couldn’t for the life of me find the footpath I was supposed to be on. So it was a wee bit of a scramble for the final climb to the top.

To say I was relived to reach the top and see other people was an understatement!

On top of Haystacks I was greeted with views of mountain tops all around.

A friend had described the top as being like a Japanese garden. Tarns punctuate the landscape, surrounded by rugged rocks covered in heathers and other vegetation. They weren't wrong, it felt like another world.